This Is Not the Jesus You're Looking For

Move along.

John 7:31–36

And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?”

The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him. Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.”

Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? What is this thing that He said, ‘You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come’?”

I just love the scene where the keystone cops come to pick Jesus up. He says to them , “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.

Their response is to wonder what He’s talking about and where He can go that they cannot come.

And that’s the end of the passage! They forget to pick Him up. It’s like Obi-Wan Kenobi saying, “These are not the droids you’re looking for.” Oh, to be a fly on the wall when the officers, who were sent to take Him, return to the priests.

“Did you find Him?”

“Yeah. He said that He would only be with us a little while longer.”

“So, where is He?”

“Dang, I knew I forgot something.”

All kidding aside, the big lesson in today’s passage is in the beginning, where some of the people basically say, “If this isn’t the Christ, who is?” The standard answer is, “Someone who overthrows Rome.”

This shows the tragic error of the Jews at that time. Jesus didn’t come to deliver them from Rome; He came to deliver them from sin. Rome isn’t the problem.

Their mistake is thinking they’re the good guys. That’s the problem.

We make the exact same mistake. Everyone does. Everyone thinks they’re the good guys.

I know we preach the doctrine of total depravity. I know we memorize it, but do we really take it to heart? Do we really question whether we’re on the right side of the issues in, say, politics and justice?

I don’t.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.